The Big Takeaway: Not a very newsworthy show. Instead of taking place at Extreme Rules, Dean Ambrose will face the Miz for the Intercontinental Championship on next week's Raw. Cesaro and Sheamus won tag team turmoil to become the #1 contenders for the Raw Tag Team Championships. Roman Reigns made his return to Raw for the first time since Braun Strowman overturned the ambulance last month. The brawl had a brawl around ringside that ended with Reigns giving Strowman a series of chair shots across the shoulder.
Backstage, Dean Ambrose got a call from Kurt Angle, who couldn't make the show tonight. Ambrose asked if Angle got the pictures he sent him. Angle said his wife opened them. Ambrose got permission to be the acting General Manager of Raw for tonight. Ambrose was about to tell Angle about this great name for the next Raw PPV he came up with, but he lost connection to Angle's phone connection.
Ambrose went to the ring and said tonight was about action and not talk. The Miz and Maryse came out to talk. Miz said Raw was going to be total chaos tonight with Ambrose in charge tonight. Miz said he received a phone call from Stephanie McMahon (which got delete chants), who heard about Angle's plan. She was worried that it would be the final episode of Raw, so she assigned a co-acting General Manager, which was the Miz. Ambrose said at Extreme Rules, he was going to put a beating on the Miz and he was going to walk away Intercontinental Champion. Miz bragged about beating Finn Balor and Seth Rollins last week.
Ambrose extended his hand for Miz earning the #1 contendership for the Intercontinental Championship. Before Miz could shake hands, Braun Strowman returned with his left arm in a sling, still selling the beating from Roman Reigns at Pay Back. He got "Thank you, Strowman" chants. Strowman said he didn't care who was in charge, he was going to get what he wants. He claimed to take out the Big Dog at Pay Back (Yes chants), but as long as Reigns can still walk, he isn't finished with Reigns. Strowman told Ambrose and Miz to call Stephanie and tell her that when his arm is healed, he's going to finish Reigns. And when he's done with Reigns, he's coming for Brock Lesnar.
Kalisto came out to no reaction. He said he isn't done with Strowman, and talked about beating Strowman in the dumpster match. Strowman smiled and there was piped-in crowd noise. Kalisto said no one treats him like garbage and screamed at Ambrose to give him a match tonight. Strowman said Kalisto beat him on a technicality and he crushed Kalisto like a beer can. He said he could beat Kalisto with one arm. Ambrose arranged Kalisto vs. Strowman for tonight. Strowman objected saying he was injured. Ambrose said Strowman said he could beat Kalisto with one arm, so tonight he could prove it.
Miz said Ambrose just ended Kalisto's career, and asked what was next, electrified ring ropes? Jack and Coke on a pole match? Instead, Ambrose ordered Miz vs. Balor.
Finn Balor defeated The Miz (11:34)
Balor threw a A.J. Styles/Kazucika Okada-caliber dropkick in the opening minutes. Balor caught a Pele Kick to build a comeback, then kicked Miz across the face on the apron. Maryse distracted the referee and threw Balor into the ref, who had his back turned. Miz grabbed the microphone and ordered the referee to disqualify Balor. Referee called for the bell and Miz announced himself as the winner. He and Maryse started to walk off, but Ambrose came out and ordered the match to start again with Maryse barred from ringside. Balor hit a slingblade, a dropkick, and the Coupe de Grace for the pin.
Alexa Bliss bumped into Nia Jax backstage. Jax said during Bliss' coronation last week, Bliss ran down every woman in the ring except her. Bliss tried to talk her way out of it, but Jax asked if Bliss really thought she was great. Bliss said yes. Jax said that means she should get a title shot when Bliss is done with Bayley. Bliss said Angle is the one who arranges title matches, not her. Jax said, until then, it looks like Bliss just got herself a new best friend. Bliss said it looks like she did.
Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss defeated Mickie James in a nontitle match (9:05)
Jax is now joining Bliss at ringside. Bayley came out with James, and the crowd loudly sang to Bayley in the opening minute. Then they started singing for Mickie with the song that Tony Basil had a hit with in 1982. Bliss focused on James' left arm. James caught a flap jack and went to the top rope, but Jax grabbed her leg. Bayley jumped on Jax with a crossbody off the steps. Bliss tripped James off the top rope and pinned her.
Afterwards, Bayley chased Bliss to the back. In the ring, Jax, upset about being embarassed by Bayley, gave James a running splash in the corner and an elbow drop.
Miz was mad at Ambrose backstage about restarting his match. Ambrose talked with a production coordinator about a rundown of the show. Miz claimed he had a MizTV segment scheduled with a member of One Direction. Ambrose told him to cancel it. Miz ordered Ambrose to face Bray Wyatt tonight.
Charly Caruso interviewed Samoa Joe, who started to ask Joe about costing Rollins the match last week. Joe said Rollins lives his life on Joe's terms, and their feud isn't over until he says it is. Joe says Rollins will hear every knee joint pop because Rollins' life is about to get very loud. Rollins came in for a brawl and the usual pull-apart crew of Fit Finley, Jamie Knoble and Chris Hero came in to break it up. Later, it was announced Joe would face Rollins tonight.
Kalisto and Braun Strowman ended in a no contest (2:04)
Strowman grabbed the microphone and said Ambrose was supposed to be co-GM tonight, but as far as he's concerned, he can shove it. Strowman said he isn't accepting this match because Reigns won't face him face-to-face or man-to-man. The bell rang, and Strowman drilled Kalisto with a big boot. Within :30, Reigns came out to thunderous boos. Reigns' entire chest was wrapped in tape. He had a staredown with Strowman, then got in the ring. It took three Superman punches to knock Strowman down and send him out of the ring. Reigns went for the Drive By, but Strowman gave him a big boot across the chest. Kalisto vanished.
Strowman charged at Reigns, but went into the post. Reigns rammed Strowman's left shoulder into the post repeatedly. Crowd had loud dueling chants, easly the loudest of the show thus far as Reigns slammed a chair across Strowman's shoulder three times. Strowman retreated into the crowd.
Goldust and R-Truth talked backstage. Goldust said he's enjoyed teaming with Truth this year, but what Angle said about their win-loss record last week hurt him. Goldust says they've been champions before, but they've never been champions before. Goldust said he knows what he can do and he knows what Truth can do, now let's prove what they can do together. Goldust asked if Truth is with him. Truth said let's go shock the world.
Sheamus and Cesaro won Tag Team Turmoil to become the #1 contenders for the Raw Tag Team Titles by beating Enzo Amore and Big Cass, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, The Golden Truth and Heath Slater and Rhyno (27:46)
Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Cesaro & Sheamus started things out. Cesaro gave Amore a quicker version of the Ronnie Garvin stomp. Amore was about to make the hot tag, but Sheamus pulled Cass off the apron and threw him into the post. Cesaro put Amore in the sharpshooter, leading to Enzo tapping for the first elimination at 6:44.
Heath Slater and Rhyno were next out. Sheamus and Cesaro threw Rhyno into the ring steps. Sheamus threw Slater into the crowd and worked him over, as well. As the crowd chanted "He's got kids," Cesaro kicked Slater twice in the groin. Then a "No more kids" chant started. Slater gave Cesaro a leg lariat and went for the tag, but Rhyno was still injured from the ring steps to make it to his corner. Sheamus pinned Slater with the Brogue kick at 10:34 without Rhyno even getting in the ring.
Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows were out next. Good action in this segment despite a lackluster crowd. Sheamus hit White Noise on Gallows for a near fall. Anderson and Gallows went for the Magic Killer on Sheamus, but Cesaro ran in to break it up. Sheamus pinned Gallows with a Brogue kick in 22:37
The Golden Truth ran out as the final team. Sheamus & Cesaro, as the heels, were the exhausted team trying to triumph against the odds of winning four matches in a half hour facing comedy babyfaces. Sheamus and Cesaro pounded on Goldust's left knee, leading to Cesaro using the sharpshooter. Truth made the save and got the hot tag. Truth hit the gourdbuster and the Lie Detector, but Cesaro kicked out of Truth's finisher. Truth missed a charge in the corner, and Cesaro pinned him with a schoolboy cradle while holding the trunks.
Postmatch, Sheamus gave Goldust the Brogue kick and also put the boots to Truth as the crowd chanted for the Hardys. Jeff and Matt Hardy ran down and Cesaro and Sheamus bailed.
Seth Rollins defeated Samoa Joe by DQ (15:03)
An intense brawl with the instrumental spot of Joe using a reverse leg sweep on Rollins' injured knee. Joe briefly clamped on the Coquina Clutch, but Rollins quickly hit the jawbreaker, then hit consecutive topes and a clothesline off the top rope for a two count. Joe shut down the comeback with a chop to the throat and a snap powerslam for another near fall. Joe got another near fall with a senton. Joe attempted a power bomb, but Rollins got out and lifted Joe into the Falcon Arrow for two. Rollins missed a roundhouse kick, Joe tried the Coquina Clutch but Rollins hit a enzuigiri. Rollins went to the top rope, but Joe caught him and attempted the musclebuster. Rollins accidentally pulled the top turnbuckle off trying to get away. After kicking out of a sunset flip, Joe whipped Rollins into the exposed steel where the turnbuckle was torn off. The referee tried to replace the turnbuckle, but Joe grabbed it and threw it into the crowd. Despite the referee's warnings, Joe threw Rollins into the exposed steel for the DQ. Joe did it again, then put Rollins into the Coquina Clutch. Rollins was unconscious as Joe told Rollins "It's over when I say it's over."
Next week on Raw, Ambrose faces Miz for the Intercontinental Championship.
Neville and TJP had an angle on Facebook earlier in the day. Neville told TJP to beat Jack Gallagher today and he would give him a WWE Cruiserweight Championship match. He did so in a way that made you think he was going to screw TJP over.
Neville came out for commentary. They aired TJP jumping Austin Aries last week and leaving him laying after an ankle lock. Michael Cole asked Neville if he put TJP up to that, which Neville denied.
TJP defeated Jack Gallagher (3:03)
Gallager walloped TJP with a head butt in the first strike of the match for a near fall. It spilled outside, where TJP gave Gallagher a drop toe hold into the ring steps. TJP went for the Detonation Kick, but Gallagher escaped for an O'Connor Roll. TJP reversed it while holding the trunks for the pin. When pressed by Cole, Neville denied he promised TJP a title shot. Postmatch, TJP chop blocked Gallagher and put him in the ankle lock. Neville laughed about how TJP was now learning. Aries ran out from the crowd and sent TJP packing after a series of forearms.
Sasha Banks defeated Alicia Fox (2:47)
Sasha Banks won with double knees off the second rope. Corey Graves made a big deal about Alicia Fox's shoulders being up before the three count, and they aired replays showing the referee clearly blew the call. It was like they were buidling up a rematch for next week.
Bray Wyatt defeated Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose in a nontitle match (15:12)
Miz was on commentary. Wyatt, standing on the floor, suplexed Ambrose from the second rope to the floor. After Wyatt missed a senton bomb, Ambrose hit a double axehandle off the top rope to the floor. After Wyatt hit a flying shoulder block, Miz and Maryse went to ringside. Some fans started chanting for Randy Savage, for some reason. Wyatt went for a superplex, but Ambrose sent him down after four head butts. Ambrose came off the top rope, but Wyatt met him with a right hand, only for Ambrose to respond with a rebound clothesline. Miz picked up Ambrose's Intercontinental Championship and started parading around with it. Ambrose dove out of the ring with a tope on Miz. After Ambrose threw Wyatt back in the ring, Miz leveled Ambrose with the Intercontinental Championship belt. Wyatt covered Ambrose, who kicked out. Wyatt hit Sister Abigail for the pin.
Postmatch, Miz punched Ambrose several times and told Ambrose he would be the Intercontinental Champion again. In the end, everyone would look at Miz and simply say "Awesome."